The Mass Effect series does something truly incredible for representation in video games. Its galaxy-saving, star ship commanding protagonist, Shepard, is so customizable so that players have control over her gender, race, personality and even sexual orientation.
This is more than a way to make a game politically correct; it’s an effective strategy increase players’ engagement with the plot. The stakes feel higher. Decisions and interactions with other characters feel more authentic, to the point that I’m avoiding any romantic entanglement in Mass Effect 2 because I actually feel guilty about the prospect of cheating on Liara. Especially after I told her I wanted us to make little blue babies.
I love my Shepard. After all these hours, how can I not? She’s literally an extension of me.
This got me wondering what other people are doing with their Shepards. Here’s a round-up of some I found on my web travails. Tell me about your Shep in the comments, or better yet, post a screen shot.
(Oh, and Mass Effect 3 hist shelves on March 6, but you already knew that).
My Commander Shepard is impatient, impulsive, committed to social justice, a survivor, and a queer woman of color. The character I impose on the game avatar is multiracial, which is likely to be the norm by the year 2183 when Mass Effect takes place, although that’s not why I did it. I did it because I don’t see queer women of color as protagonists very often, not in video games, but not anywhere else in media either.
Via Leslie at Two Whole Cakes
This one, to me, appears rugged, mature, and possibly British. Like he’d be a romantic foil for Hugh Grant in a rom-com.
Via Team Xbox
Well, Keira is a full renegade, and that’s her with the full set, scars and the red eyes.
Via JackHammerGr at Deviant Art
This is Antauan Shepard, and he’s on Google +.
The most beautiful Commander Shepherd character you’ve ever seen.
via PrinceVLAD on Xbox 360 Achievements.
I’m in the middle of a sidequest that requires me to create a universal health care bill for the Alliance, but the Council doesn’t think sickness exists.
Via Reynar_Tedros on TheForce.net
She used to have hair, but then her starship and everything inside were exploded by the mother of all laser cannons. Even after extensive reconstructive surgery, though, she decided to stick with the bald look because, seriously, who has time to visit the stylist when you’re busy negotiating with krogran war bands or hunting down robot monsters?
Via Xbox3 60 Evolved
This is by hawt female shepard in Mass Effect 2. I lub her so much.
Via Deluded on Extremeoverclocking.com
Classic blond bombshell.